Three Year Anniversary

Dan, Marina, DylanThree years went by and we are still organizing our events! It is a big milestone in the world of startups.

As I recall our first event, it took place in Santa Monica Public Library Ocean Park branch. It was before the first Silicon Beach Fest, before Cross Campus, General Cross Campus SMNT34Assembly and ROC appeared in Santa Monica.

In Jan 2012, I just arrived from Boston, where I was a member of Boston New Tech. I started Santa Monica New Tech group because I had my own startup and wanted to be a part of the startup Wes and Sarahcommunity in Santa Monica.

Instead of 1 event we host up to 10 events per month today, and the number of our members grew to 5,000+ in LA and 6,000+ in Europe.

Our 3 Year Anniversary event was held at Cross Campus, our favorite event venue in LA. The team of Cross Campus was so nice to give a speech and even give me a cake, flowers and a present! Thank you, team Cross Campus!

As usually, 6 startups presented their ideas at #SMNT34 on May 6:Rinse

Rinse

AugmentAnalytics

Vyu

Utique

Shyp

Populist.io

And Interoute helped us celebrate with pizza, but we didn’t stop celebrating there. Part 2: Happy Hour mixer took place on May 20. We ordered the cake and had drinks on the patio of Wokcano in Santa Monica.

We also heard from some members of our group about why they come to our events and what they value the most. For some it is an excuse to leave their house as they work from home anWokcano SMNT eventd meet new people and friends, for others  the reason for coming is to learn something new and get pieces of advice from mentors.

But what it really comes down to – it is all of us.

We’ve built a great community of open minded people who help each other, trust each other and love to innovate.

It is so important to know that what we created over 3 years makes this community special and Great! It is the quality of connections: friendships and partnerships that took root from SMNT events.

Tavor and Marina

Wokcano SMNT Happy HourThat is what Jay W wrote in his group review after he volunteered at our events:

 SMNT is a really cool group. For those genuinely interested in technology, innovation, and community involvement this is the place to go. Let’s not forget about Marina, who has been doing an excellent job keeping all of this together. Congratulations Marina! I hope to attend more meetings in the future, and bring lots of enthusiasts along. 

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OpenCoffee Club LA Weekly

Open Coffee Club LogoSMNT have been hosting OpenCoffee Club meetings weekly since September 2014. After hosting 18 meetings we decided to make a short video so that others know what all these meetings are all about.

Open Coffee CupThe OpenCoffee Club is an open concept originated in London 8 years ago. The goal was to encourage entrepreneurs, developers and investors to organize real-world informal meetups to chat, network and grow. There are now over 100 around the world.

Santa Monica chapter meets every week, but rotates between Thursday and Saturday/Sunday.

We meet at 10AM in Santa Monica either at Starbucks or Panera. See full schedule on SMNT Meetup Calendar.

To learn more about OCC, read http://readwrite.com/2007/05/23/the_open_coffee_club_movement

Watch full introductions from 8 people who attended #OCCLA19 on Feb 12, 2015.

SMNT at CES 2015 in Vegas

Jan 6-9, 2015. Personally it was my first CCES BannerES experience, and it was impressive.” The 2015 InternatiInMotiononal CES® was the largest and most amazing CES in show history, breaking all records as innovators across the show floor unveiled technology
services that will solve world problems and improve lives.

The 2015 CES wrapped as the largest show in history with more than 2.2 million net square feet of exhibit space featuring more than 3,600 exhibitors, including a record number of startups. Innovators showcased the latest across categories like automotive electronics, personalized health care solutions, unmIroning Magicanned vehicles, connected devices, 3D printers, gaming and more. CES is the world’s gathering place for all who thrive on the business of consumer technoLife Predictionlogy and this year more than 170,000 industry professionals, including more than 45,000 from outside the U.S. convened at the only event of
its kind to engage in the hands-on experience of interacting with the next generation of technology”.

My favorites are:

Ironing “closet”,Smart Home by Iris

Personal segway like transportation,

Smart Home by Iris,

Swarovski wearablesSwarovski wearable devices,

Life Prediction from Japan,

Robot that carries your bags,

New version of Paro, therapeutic seal.

Startup WeekendSky is the limitHealth section was full with everything smart and wearable with tracking your data. Welcome to the showcase of products and
services from the future!

What was accomplished in 4 days:
2 Vegas Buffets, a tour of hotels, unsuccessful gambling ($5 lost), Stratosphere tower visit,
one Illusionist show, hundreds of mind blowing technologies observed.Eureka Park Stage

I spent hours at Eureka Park learning about 100 startups!

Vegas in Daylight

My favorite startups and their interviews:

FastBar

LogoGrab

SmartMeUp

IceBreakerQ

SoyHuce

Pecabu

SpeechTrans

See more startup interviews and pitches on our YouTube Channel.

Silicon Beach Fest Demo Day June 2013

santamonica-beautySilicon Beach Fest (SBF) kicked off Wednesday with a demo day showcasing over a dozen startups from the Los Angeles area. Here are a few companies that caught our eye.

Wikipad

The Wikipad 7 is a $249 hybrid Android tablet and gaming controller. It launched last week, selling out at Best Buy and Walmart. The device was originally pitched as a 10.1-inch tablet at twice the price, but the company delayed the product and went back to the drawing board.

Based on a quick hands-on, the combo has a nice ergonomic feel to it. Switching between the touchscreen and the controller can be a bit jarring, but the improved gaming controls make up for it.

Wikipad’s founder said it took about $2 million to get the tablet off the ground, and the project reportedly has the support of both Google and Nvidia.

Preact

Preact helps companies collect and understand user data to improve their support and customer management systems. The company offers a side bar that pops up alongside applications like Zendesk, Salesforce and Hootsuite. The tool offers data on user behaviors related to: churn likelihood, account health, unusual behavior and onboarding funnel.

Founder Christopher Gooley highlighted one company using Preact that got its support ticket resolution time down to 44 seconds.

Bitium

We covered Bitium back in April when they announced completion of a $2.4 million seed round. The startup bills itself as a “cloud operating system”. Its product acts as a centralized system for SaaS applications, helping enterprises consolidate logins and manage permissions and allowing employees to easier collaborate and communicate across applications.

The power of SaaS applications is growing quickly, but juggling apps is becoming a tangled affair. Bitium’s making a huge play for the enterprise, and we’re optimistic about their prospects.

Prevoty

Prevoty offers a security filter meant to help websites avoid malicious attacks by managing cross-site scripting. SmartFilter is designed to allow website users to continue submitting healthy content such as links and videos to a site, without opening it up to attacks.

The startup says SmartFilter works faster than traditional firewalls, while providing analytics and notifications. It can remove all HTML/CSS tags, allow a subset, and automatically convert links to a URL shortening service.

Prevoty believes in its product enough that it set up a SmartFilter sandbox on its own website and lets hackers submit code through it.

The Kive Company

The Kive Company won Startup World LA earlier this year with its Artkive app, which helps parents  archive kids’ artwork. Now it’s moving forward with Tastemaker Mom, a platform for signs moms to interact with and help influence brands and their products.

It’s nice to see that the startup isn’t just going to rely on a one-app wonder. The mom demographic is obviously a huge potential business, and the data The Kive Company collects from its user base is going to be immensely valuable for brands.

Instacanvas

You probably already know Instagram gallery site Instacanvas, but you probably didn’t know that it boasts the largest commercial image catalogue with over 38 million images for sale. Over the past year, the company has ramped up to $2 million in annual revenue.

Instacanvas raised a $1.7 million seed round in just 48 hours, with Founders Fund, First Round Capital, Bullpen Capital participating.

The Bouqs

Flower e-commerce site The Bouqs just crossed the half million revenue mark this month with over 200,000 blooms shipped.

Buying from other online flower vendors is a pain. The Bouqs wants to change that by offering a flat $40 fee for all of its bouquets, discount subscription services, and three-click check out. With the subscription, you can add in holidays, birthdays and special occasions and have flowers automatically delivered on the day of. You can also sign up for recurring bouquets or surprise shipments.

Flowers are apparently sourced from an active volcano in South America and cut to order.

I’ve been burned by flower delivery services in the past, so I was skeptical about this one, but I was practically reaching for my credit card by the time this pitch was done.

Wallaby

Wallaby aims to tackle the credit card market by optimizing users’ rewards programs in the background. You can sign up for a Wallaby card and add existing cards to your account and the service will automatically direct the charges to the card with the best reward for that purchase.

Wallaby launched version 2.0 of its iPhone app earlier on Wednesday and also offers an Android application. Other services include Wallet Boost, which recommends new cards, and an upcoming point of sale system and API.

Focus@will

Productivity and music need a special something to go together well, and Focus@will takes a scientific approach to finding it. The company builds “phase-sequenced music” playlists that are designed to help you focus for 100-minute segments.

The service launched five weeks ago and has reached 135,000 members. Growth is definitely on the up and up, as founder Will Henshall revealed during his pitch that the company had doubled membership in the last 48 hours.

This article is re-posted from http://thenextweb.com/insider/2013/06/20/our-favorite-startups-from-las-silicon-beach-fest-demo-day/